Walking in the mall

Big-box stores keep mall alfloat in rocky retail waters - The Boston Globe

Ton Chin, 73, of Allston said he prefers to walk outside. But, in the winter, he has nowhere else to go. So, every morning, he and his wife, Kum, lace up their white sneakers, drive to Watertown, and walk the mall for an hour. Chin said he doesn't know what he'd do without it. "I come here every morning," he said.

This story brings to mind a conversation I had recently with an Allston resident about Harvard's athletic complex and its Gordon indoor track in Allston. The track is only used for competition six days a year and probably there are times during the week when the undergrads or other Harvard people who would use the track are in class or busy doing other things. It would be a nice thing for members of the community like Mr. Chin to be able to walk at the Harvard track instead of driving to Watertown. Of course Harvard doesn't have to do this, but it would be a nice way to be a good neighbor. In some small way it would be a symbolic way to compensate the community for inconvenience's caused by events like the high school hockey tournament last week that put Allston residents and others in crazy traffic backups (North Harvard St northbound backed up from the Stadium to Cambridge St!).


  1. Consumer habits notwithstanding, maybe the mall would get more foot traffic if the 70 were not only more reliable but if it ran more often, and didn't diminish in frequency before the malls close. It might also help if the property management (at least on the Arsenal Mall side) actually cleared the sidewalks after a snow, which they did not do after the Feb. 14 storm even over a week later! There are no pedestrian walkways through the parking lot of the Watertown Mall, but there's a great walk signal to get across Arsenal St. and bit of sidewalk at that light leading into the lot, and then it just dies.

  2. Anonymous3:06 PM

    I think Harry has a great idea and would take advantge of facilities at both Harvard and BC, if they were open to the public. This would help me not feel so bitter when I am woken up at 3 AM by BC college students destroying property in my neighborhood or having my garden trampled by a drunk student who has relieved him/herself in it on the way to the T after closing time at the local bar...I'd still be bitter, but not AS bitter. There needs to be some reciprocity here. What's in it for the residents?